That time when Ivy Spohnholz lectured on taking 'responsibility' - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, April 19, 2021
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That time when Ivy Spohnholz lectured on taking ‘responsibility’

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HER FLOOR SPEECH CONDEMNING DAVID EASTMAN IS ONE FOR THE AGES

In light of House Speaker Bryce Edgmon refusing to allow a “Sense of the House” vote to be taken on the behavior of Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, who accused a 78-year-old retired judge of sexual harassment, Must Read Alaska reviewed the historic lecture Spohnholz gave on the House floor on May 10, 2017, as she moved to censure Rep. David Eastman.

“When one member of this body brings the dignity of this institution into question, it’s incumbent upon all of us to act to defend it,” she started. She was speaking of Eastman’s remarks made to the media regarding abortion in Alaska and how he felt it was misused.

“The representative from the northwestern part of the Mat-Su calls in to question the character of women from rural Alaska, and offended the dignity of all women,” she spoke, as the 39 other members quietly listened. She quoted Eastman as saying that women from rural Alaska were using pregnancies to get government-paid trips to the city for abortion.

“When asked for evidence, he provided none,” she said. “He’s continued to refuse to show remorse for these damaging and hurtful words.”

“As humans we all have failings, none of us are perfect…but a leader takes responsibility and ownership for those mistakes. They acknowledge the impact that they’ve had on somebody else’s life. Their feelings. Their thoughts. They own them and then they make amends. How is it that you make amends? You don’t say, “I’m really sorry that that made you feel bad.” That is not making amends. Making amends needs to go a little bit further. You don’t say “you’re welcome to come to my office and share your concerns and your perspective with me. That is not making amends.

“When you make amends you are internalizing the hurt that you inflicted on someone else. You have to go to the people that you’ve hurt, and you have to try to understand their perspective—and make it right. It means to mend, to put things back together again…that is what adults do. And as elected officials we have an even higher standard to meet. We’re supposed to be exemplars in our community.

“We are leaders. We are not the bare minimum. We are supposed to be rising above and setting an example for our colleagues and our constituents all across the state. …We are elected officials. We are leaders in our state. It is time to act like that and to call out bad behavior for what it is, and it is unacceptable…

“If you can get a majority of people to feel strongly enough about it that they think I deserve censure, then you should call me out on that behavior.”

[Watch Rep. Spohnholz speech in its entirety here.]

On April 17, Spohnholz rose in a joint session of the House and Senate and accused retired Superior Court judge Karl Johnstone of sexual harassment, charges she said she received from “more than two women.” She has since told the media it was “two women” but her floor speech was enough to sink Johnstone’s confirmation to the Board of Fisheries moments later, when the vote was taken.

[Read: Gov. Dunleavy apologizes to Johnstone for “appalling” behavior of lawmaker]

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Hypocrisy on full display. “Good for Thee, but not for Me”. Now, she will go on to blame everyone else and do her “best” to avoid any responsibility for her disgusting words and actions against Judge Johnstone. Now would be a good time for her to apologize to Judge Johnstone, to fit her words from that 2017 “speech”, she gave on the responsibility and ethics required of a citizen representative, acting as a government official. Key word, “acting”. I’ll wager large odds, she will never admit she is wrong. Keep those “memories” tuned in and turned up, next election cycle, Alaskans.

  • If it weren’t for double standards, lefties would have no standards at all.

  • POISON IVY back in the weed patch. This person has no scruples, no boundaries, and no brains. If you are going to be an idiot, at least try to be an idiot out of the limelight…..not in it.

  • It was slander against Judge Johnstone, as it was slander against me. She’s just moved on from slandering freshman legislators to slandering former superior court judges. 90 minutes of sitting and listening to her and her lefty buddies attacking me, to which I was not even permitted to respond.

    Last week’s attack by Democrats on Judge Johnstone lays bare that Spohnholz and the women-abusing legislators who joined her in slandering me, are simply using women as pawns in their quest for political power. Both Democrat legislators who sat next to me that day and joined her in loudly condemning me resigned from the legislature for abusing women only months after this speech.

    The thing about due process is that it ensures both sides of the story get to be heard. It ensures that witnesses can come forward to testify without being bullied into silence.

    We can’t have that though, not when we’re crucifying Republicans and Republican nominees on the House Floor. Never forget, I was the one that asked for a formal hearing. Listen to Ivy’s speech. She declared on camera that because I had formally requested a hearing that my hearing request was one of the reasons I needed to be censured immediately (and that’s what Spohnholz calls “Due Process”).

    The left has now brought Kavanaugh-style slander to Alaska.

    • For these people everything is a means to an end, with the end being control of the economy so they can use it to hire more leftists, who will vote to elect more leftists etc. They can’t come out and say they want socialism – for a majority or voters that will not fly – so they have to use conduits. The Green New Deal being the latest strategy for total control of the economy by leftists.

    • Quick question, Rep. Eastman: in your opinion, how many of the 60 legislators in Juneau pay attention to what’s being discussed here at MRAK? Thank you.

  • This reckless political ‘ploy’ is played out shamelessly, an absolute disregard for truth and honesty. Yet, it just never seems as if these nefarious characters ever suffer any type of consequences. Speaking of such, do you suspect Daddy’s Little Princess ever ‘personally’ apologized to Justice Kavanaugh or, is that personal effort (some meaningful measure to accept her wrongdoing and make amends) just beyond her level of leadership character?

    • Rob, clearly a rhetorical question, right? Hell no!

  • Not just shame on you Ivy Spohnholz, go straight to hell, do not pass go, unless you repent sand ask God’s forgiveness to get into heaven! You better be glad your mother didn’t feel like you about killing unborn babies. Your behavior almost makes us want to root for abortion among liberals! Disgusting is your middle name!

  • Sadly,
    Most of the discussion around these “inappropriate sexual comments” that may or may not have been made by Johnstone is around the messenger.
    Do Alaskans not remember that sexual harassment and abuse is currently an epidemic in this state?
    Why is it so hard for folks to stop blaming the “left and right” and just realize that we may have a “Wildfire” currently spreading across America.
    “Since the start of 2017, The Associated Press has tallied at least 90 state lawmakers who have faced public allegations or repercussions over sexual misconduct claims. Most of those cases became public since the #MeToo movement gained momentum in October 2017, although some of the incidents allegedly occurred several years ago.”
    “Alaska: Rep. Dean Westlake, D, submitted resignation letter Dec. 15, 2017, after being accused by several women of inappropriate behavior.”
    “Alaska: Rep. Zach Fansler, D, resigned effective Feb. 12, 2018, after being accused of slapping a woman hard enough to rupture her eardrum during a sexual encounter after a night of drinking. He pleaded guilty June 21 to a misdemeanor harassment charge.”
    “Alaska: Sen. David Wilson, R, placed on probation and disciplined in December 2017 by Senate leaders after a review found he engaged in retaliation as he defended himself against sexual harassment allegations.”
    “Alaska: Rep. Justin Parish, D, directed to undergo additional sexual harassment training after a sexual harassment complaint in February 2018 outlined a series of unwanted flirting, touching and phone calls to a woman.”
    And let’s not forget about Mallot and how he walked away before any “accountability” or investigation could move forward on the allegations against him…
    Every day it seems more “authority” figures in Alaska are involved in sexual harassment and abuse.
    Maybe it is time to take every allegation seriously until proven false or next time it may be your friend, wife, mother or daughter that is victimized by those in power in AK.

    https://www.apnews.com/a3377d14856e4f4fb584509963a7a223

    • Steve,

      Using Senator Wilson as an example of sexual harassment is part of the problem that you have with the truth. David Wilson was falsely accused and later cleared of sexual harassment, all while the other people you mentioned were getting cover and being protected by the House leadership at the time. Some of the same leaders are in place now, including Bryce Edgmon as speaker of the house, while these anonymous allegations were brought up without due process. While you may not want to face the facts that all of the sexual harassment and violence against women coming from our legislators was done on the part of Democrats and was covered up by Democrats, all while falsely accusing those they oppose of sexual harassment…thems the facts for the last few years.

      The reason Ivy is a focal point in this current conversation is because she is the one who lobbed out an anonymous accusation with no proof after a hearing and before a vote, thus depriving due process of the accused. You know this but fail to accept it. You also know that Ivy knows this and has said as much. You keep trying to change the subject and dismiss the facts. You are causing harm to the victims of sexual harassment and violence by supporting false accusations that water down and silence actual victims.

    • Steve, I’m beginning to think you are a paid broken record for the left-wing wacko Democrats. Your comments are predictable and you say the dumbest things: “every allegation seriously until proven false.” ????? Seriously? You don’t sound well in the mind. Consider moving to North Korea and your personal nirvana will come true. And we will all be safer in the US without Steve.

      • Well M&P…
        As part of the right wing anonymous troll army, I call see why you would not take anonymous allegations “seriously”.
        Remember seriously does not mean the same as true.
        It does mean:
        “with earnest intent; not lightly or superficially.”
        ( Wikipedia)
        As for my own “affiliation”…I have none as I am registered as a non-partisan and do not kling to a set ideology or a prescribed party’s dogma.
        Just in case you can’t remember the NP and undeclared voters make up 250,000 votes in AK which is a huge majority of the state, so I am quite at home in my own country…maybe freedom of speech and different opinions frightens you?

        • No, Steve, what frightens us is that there are people like you who support the judicial standards found in Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and the old Soviet Union, to name a few. Political regimes that arrest, detain and try a person based on spurious allegations, then require the accused to defend themselves, thrust with the burden of proof. In other words, you believe in the backwards system of ratting someone out because it fits your personal political agenda. No need for probable cause to weigh out the evidence of accusal, correct Steve? Just “apply the old Steve subjection using his definition of “serious.” The old Bolshevik standard. And please don’t accuse us of being “the army of right-wing trolls.” This is your definition of people you disagree with. You love showing off your photo of your outdoor, adventure free-spirit, but you opine to others that we should live chain-and-shackled, as if prisoners to #metoo, until we can prove ourselves innocent from what ever charges the world of “Steve’s” would have the rest of us live by. No thanks, Steve. We like our system of proof offered to establish legitimate claims, of which the accuser must bear the burden of proof. You and Ivy subscribe, to the “rat system,” which is reserved for …..rats.

          • Well M & P….
            I can tell it was fear that is leading your rants…
            You said it:
            “…what frightens us is that there are people like you…”
            I would suggest you understand that America is a melting pot with different views and cultures and nationalities…
            You will not always agree with others opinions and acceptance of those with different views is a part of life.
            Maybe you have been sheltered from reality for too long?
            Sorry you cannot stick to the topic of debate which by the way, a majority of the Legislature DID agree with myself as they voted down Karl’s position.
            I am reminded of an old saying from the 1980’s…
            “Reality Bites”
            Get used to it!

          • Steve, why are we smelling a HUGE rat?

          • This guy, Stine, is nuts. A world viewer who thinks America should be the melting pot of the world. Open borders, Stine? Sure, let everyone in, and anyone, who wants to come into our great country for a free ride at the expense of US taxpayers. And don’t worry. We Americans will gladly assimilate to the cultural needs of all newcomers. Stine in a berka, or a sombrero, cruising the glaciers, speaking Farsi to his comrades. Hard to believe Stine is educated at all. A man with no survival skills and willing to give away his country. A true traitor (and an idiot).

          • Heard there is still bed space for two more at API. Steve, maybe you and Ivy?

          • Well guys,
            I am glad you have this forum for your rants and name calling.
            It is obvious from the comments that I have witnessed in the last few months that anyone “outside the red zone” is not welcome.
            RINOS either…
            It does speak volumes for the lack of tolerance and the large amount of harrassment that Alaskans are currently faced with throughout their communities.
            Sorry that you cannot respect other opinions either from Legislators “on your left” or citizens who take the time to share their views.
            (Which some of us feel is important to a HEALTHY democracy)
            Realizing that America is a “melting pot” of cultures does not mean “open borders”…
            This expression has been part of this country for many generations.
            “The melting-together metaphor was in use by the 1780s. The exact term “melting pot” came into general usage in the United States after it was used as a metaphor describing a fusion of nationalities, cultures and ethnicities in the1908 play of the same name.”
            (Wikipedia)
            Just remember…
            “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
            (George S. Patton)

          • Suzanne,
            Thank you.
            And thanks for all the work you do in keeping MRAK up and running.
            It is important for Alaskans to engage in these discussions with one another.

          • It must just be me, but I find it ironic that Steve Stine is upset over anonymous people calling him names on a story about a legislator who used anonymous sources to call Karl Johnstone names, and Steve Stine has continually supported using anonymous sources by this legislator…

        • Steve,

          Yet another example of the struggle you have with the truth. While non-partisan and undeclared make up a large percentage of registered voters they are not a unified voting block and thus not a majority of anything. Take you for example, you are in the extreme minority with the views you have shared, and also on the extreme left. So to claim that you and your extreme left views are a part of a majority is simply not true.

          • Steve O…
            Your burr in your saddle needs attention…
            It is affecting your judgment.
            I said:
            “NP and undeclared voters make up 250,000 votes in AK which is a huge majority of the state”.
            This is TRUE!
            I never said “a unified voting block”…
            It is your dogmatic party strategy to place everyone to the left or right…
            But sometimes folks are in the middle with their beliefs.
            Just cause anonymous guys like you and M&P cannot even use your real names to attack those whom you disagree with….you do not have to keep making things up.
            I know it is your “Libertarian” way to name call and attack those to your perceived “left”…although everything I read on Libertarians is they respect others opinions.
            Now who is the real fraud?

          • Steve,

            I’m not sure why you insist on continually misrepresenting Libertarians. I’ve explained it all to you before but, like most things with you, you would rather spread misinformation or outright lies than the truth.

            There are roughly 83,000 non-partisans registered and 235,000 undeclared for a rough total of 318,000.
            http://www.elections.alaska.gov/statistics/2019/APR/VOTERS%20BY%20PARTY%20AND%20PRECINCT.htm
            Non-partisans typically lean left (like yourself) while the undeclared typically lean right. I don’t place anyone in the left or right category, they do so with their beliefs. Just as you have with you extremely left leaning beliefs.

  • I wrote her, linked this well done story and called her out as a hypocrite. More need to do so, civilly but strongly.

  • My checkbook is at the ready, waiting for the next election cycle.

  • Her quote — “As humans we all have failings, none of us are perfect…but a leader takes responsibility and ownership for those mistakes.” …. She is an embarrassment to Alaskan politics, and shame on Alaskans for letting her get away with this injustice!

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